Ever since her parents began to fight and got divorced, Auden can't sleep at night, and spends her nights studying and doing what she can to earn academic greatness.
When her new half-sister is born, Auden decides to go visit her father for the summer, arriving at the beach town of Colby, North Carolina, to find her stepmother Heidi struggling with the baby while her father works on finishing his book (something he has been doing for the past 10 years or so).
As Auden stays and starts to bond with her sister, and later even a with Heidi - whom she always thought was a bit of a bimbo - she gets a job in Heidi's store Clementine's and, after a surprise visit from her mother (who is that kind of feminist woman who isn't really all that kind to women in general), Auden begins to bond with the other girls who work at Clementine's: Leah, Esther and Maggie.
But it's Eli, a fellow insomniac, who helps her embark on a quest to finally get all those childhood experiences she missed out while trying to be a little adult for her parents, and kind of teaches her it's never to late, not even to learn how to ride a bike.
Okay, so I'm a Sarah Dessen fan, but this book just didn't finish clicking for me. I never grew to like Auden's parents, and though Eli and Auden spent a lot of time together I wished there was more. And well, lastly, I couldn't entirely buy Auden's friendship with Leah, Esther and Maggie in the way I could, for example, completely believe Macy befriending the Wish Catering crew in The Truth About Forever, or Isabel and Morgan taking Colie under their wing in Keeping the Moon.
Even so, I applaud Sarah's skill because, even with all of those pet peeves, the book is good. It just doesn't happen to be my favorite book by her.